Grenada and Dominica have reported their first cases of COVID-19.
In Grenada, a 50-year-old female who arrived there from the United Kingdom was confirmed as their first case.
“She arrived in Grenada from the United Kingdom on Monday, March 16th. She became symptomatic on Tuesday, March 17th, and was subsequently tested,” said Health Minister Nicholas Steele during a special midday news yesterday.
Describing Grenada’s patient zero as an imported case, the minister, surrounded by Dr Francis Martin, Acting Chief Medical Officer and Dr George Mitchell, who is the COVID-19 response Coordinator, said the patient is now in isolation to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
Officials of the Ministry of Health told reporters that they were also aggressively conducting contact tracing for the woman, who was exhibiting mild symptoms.
“I assure you that our very capable medical team has been actively following up and engaging in contact tracing. We are already moving to isolate and monitor several others, who were in close contact with the patient. This will continue for the next 14 days, at least,” said the minister, who explained that contract tracing included using the aircraft’s manifest.
It was also announced that effective today and until further notice, the country’s airspace will be closed. However, there will be one exception—that of a British Airways flight which was pre-approved for landing on Wednesday.
In Dominica, a 54-year-old citizen was confirmed as the first case by Health Minister Irving McIntyre, who said the infected person recently returned to the island from the United Kingdom. The national was placed under home quarantine from the time of arrival and has been under surveillance by a medical team.
“In accordance with public health practices, the ministry of health has initiated aggressive contact tracing to identify every individual who may have come into close contact with this patient,” McIntyre said.
He added that “all individuals identified during contact tracing will be tested and placed under quarantine.”